Minister: Many species being poached

2012-03-06 10:34

Johannesburg - Rhinos are just one of the many species being poached, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Joyce Mabudafhasi said.

Mabudafhasi said although the issue of rhino poaching was a government priority, "it is only a part of the larger problem, as many other animals are being poached - even frogs".

She was briefing media during a lekgotla of her department's Green Scorpions unit in Polokwane on Monday, Beeld newspaper reported.

The deputy minister did not elaborate on the role of the Green Scorpions in the fight against rhino poaching.

More than 70 rhinos had been killed since the beginning of 2012.

Mabudafhasi said South Africa had suffered an R80bn loss in the 2010/11 financial year as a direct result of environmental crimes that included the illegal trade in abalone (perlemoen), ivory and rhino horn.

She said the Green Scorpions would be placed in the provinces later this year, with Limpopo the first priority.

They would also have the power to impose fines of between R5m and R10m on environmental offenders.

  • Max - 2012-03-06 10:45

    This kind of ANC mentality of redefining the problem and doing nothing will get everything extinct, not only rhinos.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-06 10:50

      Huh? Doing nothing? Are you actively involved in the fight against poaching?

      Robin - 2012-03-06 10:52

      The loud talk is "We MUST do something about this". The whisper actually says, "Don't anyone do anything, don't anyone make waves". Makes one wonder how many dirty fingers there are in government.

      Rudie - 2012-03-06 11:05

      1 x Rhino 1 x Panda see how they like that .

  • Ben - 2012-03-06 10:46

    And the Chinese are the main culprits. They should not be allowed in Africa. They certainly dont come here to help develop the country.

  • KallieHungBal - 2012-03-06 10:47

    Dam Fak!!!

  • Rob - 2012-03-06 10:53

    Can anyone explain how such devastation of everyone's environment can be reconcilled with Ubuntu? Of course, what I really mean is that the collective behaviour of (some) Africans establishes a clear understanding of what Ubuntu means to them.

  • jen.bader - 2012-03-06 10:55

    Putting Scorpions in later this year will be too late! How about a bit of speedy reaction for a change???

  • Andre Mouton - 2012-03-06 10:57

    So are eggs!

      Garth - 2012-03-06 15:06

      Gee, you're funny.

  • Cameronl - 2012-03-06 10:58

    70!!!! RHINOS..... thats insane! how the hell did the government allow that figure to get that high in the first friggin place WTF!!!. There arent that many Rhinos left for petes sake, surely alarm bells should be going off all over the place as to the urgency to save what is left?!?!? The government does have the capacity to deal with this problem, the only thing keeping them sitting on their ass`s is all the backhands weighing their pockets down to the point that they cant get up in the first place! I`m wasting my breath bitching about this.... PLEASE >>>>GOVERNMENT DO SOMETHING TO SAVE WHAT LITTLE OF THE RHINO POPULATION IS LEFT!!!!!!

      Ed - 2012-03-06 11:16

      the official figure is actually now over 90...shows how sharp this minister is...and those are the ones they know about

      Gungets - 2012-03-06 11:42

      Cameron - do you have any suggestions. Max and Robin are going off about "the government just talking" but I think that is what most of their critics do as well. Ed is the only one with an actual suggestion (and a good one) that the 100's of different organisations get together and co-ordinate their efforts. We can make a difference by supporting the good organisations, such as Save the Rhino International (, rather than getting distracted by all the little outraged groups that run around - well intentioned but without focus. Get behind the dedicated, knowledgable groups, focus. Less noise, more action.

  • TenRas1 - 2012-03-06 11:09

    "even Frogs" lol this ministers just wana open their dogs for nothing

  • Boer - 2012-03-06 11:10

    Why don't they poach the specie that is in oversupply? Good for nothing?

      Rudie - 2012-03-06 11:18

      Sorry but do you know why the poach rhino horn?

      Boer - 2012-03-06 11:43

      You are missing the point. If you read between the lines they don't give a damn about the rhino's or the frogs. It is more to do with the R80bn that they are not able to steal.

      Rudie - 2012-03-06 13:40

      Apologies boer but in that case i think it is better then that China walks around with there "handbrakes" pulled up.

  • Thelma - 2012-03-06 11:14

    WOW....What an intellectual response.....FROGS!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ed - 2012-03-06 11:18

      thelma...south africa and the amazon have many species of frogs that are HIGHLY prized in th east as it is believed that they have special powers. the 'slime' on frogs also has many other properties, one of which is as a hallucigenic (scuse the spelling there).

  • Ed - 2012-03-06 11:23

    Wow really are on the pulse. Actual number poached is now over 90 (that are known of). The Chinese and Vietnamese must be stopped as they are behind the 'Triads' who control everything from global arms and ammunition to drugs, perlemoen, cigarettes (the largest smuggled item on earth), rhino horn, ivory, diamonds and sex slaves. What is also needed is for all global conservation groups such as the WWF and AWF, together with regional conservation groups, african, vietnamese and chinese government delegations to all meet together and formalise a plan forward. without that everybody really is just, for want of a better phrase, 'cutting off each others noses to spite their faces.' Neutering a couple of billion humans would also help...

      Gungets - 2012-03-06 12:34

      Ed - I do think that the Green Scorpions, together with SARS, could launch a Lifestyle Audit of everyone involved in conservation, from the top to the bottom. They do not even need the court's OK - it is already written into legislation. The systems already exist to check peoples bank accounts for abnormal deposits (if you are employed then ANY deposit can be considered abnormal, but they could scan for anything over R1000). Then question the employee and also track the accounts making the deposits. Widen the Lifestyle audits to include those making those deposits and so on. Cross reference employees with the eNatis system for vehicles registered in their names. (it is easy enough to estimate a car value with the make/model/age of the car and make deductions from there). Do the same with the national property register, and then do the same with their spouses. If my theory is correct, that elements of the conservation agencies are involved, the forensic audit will point to the chain of people involved. We might not catch them all, but we will mop them up slowly and scare the cr#p out of the rest. None of this is rocket science, so commentators are right in one sense - there is a lot that can be done, it takes will and organisation. Now - how do we make this happen. Perhaps I need to speak to a trusty politician. Eeeny, ... er .. Eeeny ... damn ....

      Gungets - 2012-03-06 16:22

      And in breaking news, perhaps we should be doing lifestyle audits on all state employees.[_id]=77616

  • Dennis - 2012-03-06 11:59

    And yet another wannabe rocket scientist opens her mouth to spew garbage !!

  • Dale - 2012-03-06 14:10

    This should have been a priority for government a long time ago, why is it only being discussed now. Its pathetic that Rhino's and Elephants are dying everday thanks to poachers and only now have they started working on a way to solve the problem, a little forward thinking would be nice every now and then. These poachers also shouldnt be given a fine they should rot in jail for the rest of their lives, for me a fine no matter how much it is, is just a slap on the wrists

  • Boer - 2012-03-07 00:45

    On second thoughts. We should not be worried about the rhino's or the frogs. If we believe in evolution a new type of rhino whould be created by the process of evolution and guess what, it will not have a horn.

  • melody.deandrade - 2012-03-07 09:06

    How long has this department been in existence and now they have suddenly decided to wake up. Okay so you have wiped the sleep out of your eyes, I guess better late than never, now show us some results TODAY!! The situation is out of control we know that already. We want action from your department and we want the kingpins heads to roll (foreign and local). Arrest the traffickers, buyers and not only the poachers.

  • Dean - 2012-03-07 11:24

    Dear Deputy Minister, where have you been for the last one week. SANParks, who fall under the Department of Environmental Affairs, reported on the 29th February that 80 rhinos have been killed to date in 2012, not 70 as has been stated. At the current statistic of 1 rhino every 18 hours, today's figure would be as much as 90.

  • patricmthombeni - 2012-03-08 22:51

    The bushman too, endangered!

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